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Welcome to Studies

Welcome to this newly re-launched website of Studies, now in its 104th year. Studies is a publication of the Irish Jesuits, which has appeared without a break since spring 1912, when Ireland and the world were very different places. Throughout the past hundred years we have sought to examine a wide range of Irish issues, social, political, cultural, and economic, in the light of Christian values, and to explore the Irish dimension in literature, history, philosophy and religion. This continues to be our purpose in the twenty-first century.

A brief survey of topics taken up in recent issues may give a sense of the wide range of our interests and concerns: ‘What would happen if the EU broke up?’ (Spring 2013); ‘Asylum seekers in our Republic: why have we gone wrong?’ (Summer 2013); ‘The heart of a Jesuit Pope: Francis in dialogue’ (Autumn 2013); ‘Revisiting the Murphy Report’ (Winter 2013); ‘Changing Ireland’ (Spring 2014); ‘Imagined community: Irish identities’ (Summer 2014); ‘Religious freedom in the 21st century’ (Autumn 2014); ‘The Jesuits in Ireland before and after the Suppression’ (Winter 2014); Pope Francis and the Synod (Winter 2015): Europe in Crisis (Autumn 2016)

This current issue questions whether we are unwitting inhabitants of a communications bubble. In this Winter 2016 issue of Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, looks at the topic of 'Framing the News'. Margaret O’Brien Steinfels looks at Standing in the Public Square. Peter Steinfels writes about the Media as a Source for the History of the Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal in the United States. David Robbins foucuses on the Irish Media and Laudato Sì. Kevin Rafter looks at The Political Communication of the Decade of Commemoration. Sean Brophy examines Ireland’s Decade of Conflict 1913-23. Fergus O’Ferrall dicusses the Search for a New Vision for Rural Ireland.


The original inspiration behind this issue of Studies was last August’s Parnell Summer School, held in Avondale, Co Wicklow, which was dedicated to a discussion of those events in Paris and the topic of freedom of speech to which they have inevitably given rise since. Four of the papers delivered then, in edited form, are published here. (A fifth, by Dr Sylvie Kleinman, already appeared in the spring issue of Studies). Studies is greatly indebted to Felix Larkin, director of the Summer School, who suggested the publication of these papers and for his generous assistance in making this possible.

On this website you will find further information about past issues and how to subscribe to the journal. There is also information for prospective contributors. Contact can be made with us through the website address. We warmly welcome your comments and your continuing interest in Studies



IN a recent Irish Times article (9 January), Professor Diarmaid Ferriter quoted extensively from Fr Francis Shaw’s article published in Studies in 1972: The Canon of Irish History: A Challenge. We reproduce the article here as a pdf which may be downloaded with our compliments. Please credit Studies Irish Review as the source if reproducing the article. We would also appreciate mention of our web address:

Read online: The Canon of Irish History: A Challenge by Francis Shaw

Winter Editorial 2016

There is a story – David Foster Wallace among others has told it – of a big fish swimming along in a river and encountering two small fish coming the other way. ‘How do you like the water, boys?’ the big fish says to the two little fish. They don’t reply but, as they swim away, he hears one saying to the other: ‘What’s water?’ That story can be applied, at the highest level, to the God who, as St Paul told the first century Athenians, is the one ‘in whom we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17,28) and might serve as a timely parable for our forgetfully agnostic times. At a quite other, very much more mundane, level, it might speak to our current situation as unwitting inhabitants of a communications bubble, the implications of which we hardly understand at all. Some of the lead pieces in this issue of Studies are concerned with this notionally familiar and increasingly influential feature of contemporary life.

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